Creation Ministries International Gives Up On Living Dinosaurs

While I was watching humans trying to save dinosaurs from extinction in the fictional cinema-verse of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, I remembered reading an article from Creation Ministries International called “Dinosaurs are almost certainly extinct” (February 22, 2018). The article’s message was that that “It is time to let go of the idea of ‘living dinosaurs.'”

The article is co-authored by Robert W. Carter, Gary Bates, and Jonathan Sarfati, ostensibly to present a united front against a possible backlash against Creation Ministries International’s opinion that the very idea of living dinosaurs should be placed on the list of Arguments Creationists Should Not Use.

I wouldn’t really have a problem with this article if the authors only said that Creation Ministries International would no longer consider the possibility of living dinosaurs. After all, if their arguments against the possibility of extraterrestrial life are any indication, CMI’s grasp of logic is inconsistent at best. Yet they’ve gone a step further to say that, really, no one else should say that dinosaurs and plesiosaurs might be alive today either.

Technically, the list of Arguments Creationists Should Not Use is comprised of a primary list of arguments which definitely should not be used and a secondary list of arguments which are doubtful and therefore inadviseable. They’ve placed living dinosaurs at the top of the secondary list.

Let me tell you why abandoning the living dinosaurs argument is a bad idea. Living dinosaurs are part and parcel to the Cryptozoological Implication of Creationism, which is the observation that if the Earth is young and God preserved animal kinds aboard the Ark roughly 4000 years ago, then we should expect to see living species today which evolutionists and old earthers profess went extinct in the ancient past far removed from the appearance of modern man. It’s an implication of the literal history of Genesis and it includes the possibility of the present-day re-discovery of living dinosaurs.

Lest I be accused of thatching together a straw man, let me be clear that the authors are not saying that dinosaurs did not live with post-Flood man perhaps even up to medieval times. They are saying that “dinosaurs are no longer alive today, unless proven otherwise,” so we need to abandon the argument, at least in the meantime. I suggest that their preference does not meet the sufficient criteria for being placed on any sort of universal list of arguments creationists should not use. Indeed, no other major creationist organization seems to have added living dinosaurs to their list!

One further note before we continue: In their summarized position, CMI states (in part) that, “While creationists some time ago thought that some dinosaurs might still be alive in some obscure part of the globe…” This is an outright attempt to obscure the truth that it is recently and presently rather than “some time ago”! Why is such an erroneous statement included in an article which claims to be concerned with facts?

The article begins by noting that the Ica Stones (already on the list of Arguments Creationists Should Not Use with good reason), which show man and dinosaurs living together, also portray those dinosaurs with dragging tails, evidencing the work of a forger using out-dated notions of how dino tails were held. Thus, the authors correctly note:

“This is one of those things we would love to be true, but since the evidence is equivocal, we should put it on the back shelf.”

They use this as a springboard for their argument that the very concept of living dinosaurs should be discarded by creationists.

“The thought that dinosaurs might be living in some long-forgotten corner of the world has fanned the flames of curiosity for a long time. Many of our supporters believe it is true, and we have done much to support the possibility over the years. However, it is time for a critical reassessment… when an argument becomes untenable. We believe that ‘Living Dinosaurs’ has become one of those arguments.”

They start off their appeal with something of a straw man argument that thatches its way through the entire article: the idea that those of us who are searching for evidence of living dinosaurs (no question-begging quotation marks required, by the way) are really just looking for “the ‘magic bullet’ or ‘knockout punch’ evidence” to prove the Bible is true. In actuality, we are looking for and should expect to find corroborating evidence of the Bible’s historical truth claims. The authors point out that we already have such evidence in the form of dinosaur soft tissue, dino DNA, and Carbon-14 in every dinosaur sample that has been tested. We even have it in the form of living fossils like the Coelacanth, all of which (as “out-of-time” creatures) are technically former cryptids.

Concerning dinosaurs and the implications of Biblical revelation, the authors note:

“Scripture does not speak directly about dinosaurs… but we have enough evidence to conclude that dinosaurs certainly existed. If we are to fit them into biblical history, they would have been on the Ark, because they were air-breathing land animals, and therefore they would have been alive at least early in the post-Flood era. We note that many land animals have gone extinct. The promise God made to preserve animals on the Ark was a general promise, not a specific claim that every species, or indeed every kind, would remain on the earth indefinitely. Indeed, extinction is just another reminder of the Fall and how the earth is subject to continuing decay.”

I would only add here that if fossils are a result of the Flood, this is further evidence that dinosaur kinds must have been brought aboard the Ark.

Logically, the authors conclude:

“The evidence is strong that they lived in the post-Flood era, and there is nothing that categorically tells us they must be extinct, so the idea that they might still be alive is tantalizing. This brings us to a discussion about cryptozoology.”

They admit here that they’ve written many articles on the subject of “creatures widely regarded as extinct or imaginary are actually alive but merely hidden” (i.e., cryptids).

“While we have never claimed that dinosaurs are still alive today, we have always remained open to the possibility of finding one. Why wouldn’t we be?

However, we have now had decades to verify the claims. To date, not a single one has been confirmed.”

Like so many other critics of cryptozoology, they think it’s time to give up the search on this particular class of cryptids, the relict dinosaur (including pterosaurs and marine reptiles associated with the evolutionary “Age of Dinosaurs”).

“And as time goes by, it is increasingly unlikely that we will ever find one. What about the argument, ‘One can only say they don’t exist today if we could explore every inch of the earth at the same time.’ This is actually nonsensical, because we could apply it to anything that we want—even non-existent or imaginary things like fairies that people believed in over 100 years ago (based upon alleged eyewitness testimonies).”

Let’s compare this with a statement from the position of Answers in Genesis, from Chapter 12 of the New Answers Book:

“One cannot prove an organism is extinct without having knowledge of every part of the earth’s surface simultaneously. Experts have been embarrassed when, after having declared animals extinct, they were discovered alive and well. For example, in the 1990s explorers found elephants in Nepal that have many features of mammoths.”

The problem is that this argument CMI calls “nonsensical” isn’t nonsensical when applied to things which aren’t imaginary or non-existent. And we have already established that dinosaurs are not imaginary and that they once existed in the recent past. The question is whether or not they still exist. And in this case, the cryptozoologist is valid in appealing to the fact that we have not yet explored the entirety of the places on Earth where they might currently still exist.

Regarding their analogy to fairies, I am appalled (but not really surprised) at this attempt to Poison the Well with imaginary creatures, as this is a tactic that opponents of Christianity often employ against the idea of God, associating it with the idea with Sky Fairies and Flying Spaghetti Monster. In both cases, one is literally comparing apples to oranges.

“In addition, unlike the oceans, which are more difficult to explore due to the extreme depths and lack of light, we have explored essentially the entire surface of the earth.”

Just because we have Google Earth doesn’t mean we’ve physically explored an area well enough to rule out the possibility of cryptids. Entire mountain ranges (such as the Himalayas and the forested mountains of Venezuela) remain undiscovered, not to mention tropical rain forest areas. As their article later admits, it is the “least explored” areas that are in contention.

“From time to time we have found weird and wonderful creatures and species that we did not even know existed, but these have generally been small creatures, and they usually belong to an already-known taxon, such as the okapi (a member of the family Giraffidae, named in 1901) and the saola (a muntjac ‘discovered’ by a son of Theodore Roosevelt in the early 1900s, it was finally found alive in Vietnam in 1992).”

First of all, dinosaurs would be members of an already-known taxon. I’m just gonna leave that there.

Second of all, who says living dinosaurs are bigger than an okapi or the Vu Quang ox? My personal belief is that only smaller dinosaurs are likely to be alive today. Almost all mammal species have much bigger variants in evidence in the fossil record. If dinosaurs were like reptiles (and we have certainly appealed to such things in Ark apologetics), the large size of some species in the fossil record could be to their longevity. Unlike mammals, who tend to stop growing after reaching a certain size, reptiles tend to just keep growing and growing throughout their lives. Kangaroos are also indeterminate growers. This could mean that contemporary dino species sizes could be much smaller than their fossil and legendary relatives.

“In the case of dinosaurs, we know what to look for. We have their fossils (meaning they are dead), and we have pretty much explored the whole planet. But the areas that are least explored (e.g. the Congo and West Papua) are the places where dinosaurs are supposedly living today, so we are left in a difficult situation.”

OK, let’s unpack that.

“We have their fossils (meaning they are dead)” is a purposely misleading statement. We have coelecanth fossils. Are they dead? The fossilized ones certainly are, but that’s not the same thing as being extinct, is it?

In fact, creationists believe that dinosaur fossils are found in rock layers laid down by the Flood; this means that dinosaurs (and everything else on those layers) would have been alive before the Flood and that Noah would’ve taken living representatives after their kind aboard the Ark.

As with their position on the possibility of extraterrestrial life, the authors appeal to the fact that we haven’t found relict dinosaurs yet as evidence that we never will. I will say that they are on surer ground with the amount of unexplored terrestrial space on Earth than they are with the amount of unexplored outer space!

“It is not like no humans live in these places. Loggers, explorers, drug runners, poachers, and subsistence farmers regularly traipse the back woods areas of the world. It is nearly impossible to find places not impacted by humans, thus observed by humans.”

That is just bullroar, and I suspect that they know this. This also ignores the fact that most of the time cryptozoological searches are initiated by legends, rumors and isolated reports of the existence of such creatures, meaning that something may have been encountered but its identity and existence has not been confirmed. So whether we haphazardly ran across such cryptids is irrelevant. In fact, more modern accounts that cryptid hunters seek to corroborate often find their source in the very loggers, etc, whom CMI mentions.

“But our position is no longer ‘wait and see’. Instead, it is time to say that living dinosaurs no longer exist unless there is proven evidence to the contrary, otherwise claims that dinosaurs must still exist will be used by the evolutionists as yet another club with which to beat creationists.”

So here they offer us an appeal to consequences, a logical fallacy. if we continue to claim that dinosaurs might be still living somewhere on this planet, the evolutionist could make fun of us for it and claim that we really don’t seem to care about the evidence. Bates, et al., claim to worry that the claim that living dinosaurs might be alive today “will be used by evolutionists as yet another club with which to beat creationists;” however, they are inconsistent because another claim Creation Ministries International makes (that extraterrestrials are demons in disguise) was used by evolutionists in 1981 to discredit Dr. Norman Geisler’s testimony during McLean v Arkansas Board of Education …and we don’t exactly see CMI pulling Alien Intrusion from their shelves!

I will point out the obvious: that cryptozoology, by its very nature, has little more than anecdotal evidence …until it finds what it’s looking for. For example, the Vu Quang ox of Vietnam wasn’t proven to exist until 1994, when a live specimen was captured.

More importantly, not all cryptozoologists, even those who affirm the possibility of dinosaurs living today, are creationists. You see, the authors are correct in their view that living dinosaurs would not be seen as irrefutable proof of creationism. Many who entertain the idea of living dinosaurs already do so within an evolutionary worldview.

Karl Shuker, author of In Search of Prehistoric Survivors: Do Giant `Extinct’ Creatures Still Exist? (1996) and Still in Search of Prehistoric Survivors: The Creatures That Time Forgot? (2017) isn’t a creationist either. Regarding living dinosaurs, Shuker claims:

“If, however, such mystery beasts are truly modern-day dinosaurs, this means that they have undergone 65 million years (or more) of continuous evolution from their fossilised antecedents…”

Likewise, leading cryptozoologist Loren Coleman is on record saying that he knows “few creationist cryptozoologists,” and, though he personally believes evolution is a fact, says they “seem an intelligent lot.”

In any case, blissfully unaware that a search for living dinosaurs is not a purely creationist endeavor and does not really amount to a club evolutionists can beat us with, Bates, Carter and Sarfati continue:

“This does not mean we reject the idea that dinosaurs previously lived with man, only that they are extremely unlikely to be living today, and there are strong creationist scientific reasons for saying so.”

OK, I’d like to hear these “strong creationist scientific reasons.” Even after that atrocious grammar. So long as it’s better than an appeal to consequences.

I cannot help but point out that the idea that living dinosaurs are “extremely unlikely” is not the same thing as saying that they no longer exist.

“Moreover, valuable Christian resources are being devoted unnecessarily to what appear to be fruitless endeavors, rather than supporting ministries or efforts we believe are more demonstrable in bearing fruit (that is, helping to bring people to Christ, our #1 priority). All the evidence indicates dinosaurs are not still here.”

So here they appeal to an economy of resources. We have better arguments that CMI believes are more demonstrable in bearing fruit in bringing people to Christ. And besides “all the evidence” indicates that dinosaurs are no longer living today.

The problem with only using our best arguments is that it’s only really advisable in the forum of an official debate or perhaps even a conversation. Certainly in those situations you would want to marshal your best arguments; however, the internet is a much different forum. Evangelism often requires a wider net.

Our critics are going to bring up subjects that we feel are weak points in our armor. If we only specialize in the “best arguments” (and that is definitely an ever-changing category!), we may find ourselves ill-equipped to field other arguments. Since the Cryptozoological Implication of Creationism is inherent in our model, we are going to get questions and criticisms regarding whether living dinosaurs exist today. If we continue to propose as the Bible implies that the Earth is young, that dinosaurs co-existed with man, and that dinosaurs were aboard the Ark a it is not really an argument we can avoid.

Besides, “all the evidence” is really just, “thus far, we haven’t found anything.” One can say that it’s less likely that we will find a living dinosaur now, but if we’re being honest we have to admit that this isn’t anything we can be sure about. It’s an argument from ignorance. Absence of evidence is not necessarily the evidence of absence. If it were, CMI would not feel the need to add the caveat that “dinosaurs are no longer alive, unless proven otherwise.”

“We are already fighting on a major front with our opposition to mainstream scientific belief on evolution. It is therefore important to maintain integrity in our creationist arguments, and not be sensationalists, even if this means loss of opportunity for ministry exposure or even loss of financial support from well-meaning Christians who get excited about such claims.”

Wait. Um, what?? Isn’t this the same creationist organization that’s been promoting sensationalist material that aliens are actually demons??

I call Bolshevik.

We must ask, however, why this is so important for biblical creationism? If a living dinosaur species were found, evolutionists would still not change their minds. They would just incorporate it into their pre-existing worldview. We know this because many ‘living fossils’ have been discovered (such as the wollemi pine and the coelacanth), and there are many fossils out of their assumed evolutionary place. They even said finding the wollemi pine was like “Finding a living dinosaur!” But putting aside some of the easily-forgotten sensationalist headlines, the general reaction is, “Huh. Isn’t that interesting? One of them managed to stay alive all this time.” We can confidently say that living dinosaurs would not be the death-knell of evolution. Therefore, why spend such valuable resources in looking for them?

This is a nonsense question. While the discovery of a living dinosaur would not prove creationism is right and it would be unlikely to convince evolutionists that they are wrong, said discovery would certainly be more consistent with the Bible’s revealed history than millions of years. We would rightly use a living dinosaur as corroborating evidence for creationism, much as we do with the Wollemi pine and the Coelacanth.

Alternatively, some of our supporters feel that cryptozoology is an embarrassing chapter in our history, and thus should be buried as deeply as possible.”

And yet they have dedicated their resources to promoting the embarrassment known as the Demonic Hypothesis of UFO… They can charge me with tu quoque, but this does not erase their hypocrisy in this matter.

We are suggesting that, instead, we should lay it aside and focus on the most powerful, up-to-date Achilles’ heels of evolutionary theory.

There it is: a bona fide appeal to novelty wrapped up in a false dichotomy. I see no reason why we should abandon the notion of living dinosaurs. There’s no reason why we can’t, and no logically consistent reason why we shouldn’t, use all available evidences.

Note that it seems like they are saying we should lay aside both the idea of living dinosaurs and cryptozoology itself and focus on newer arguments. It is cryptozoology itself that they describe as an “embarrassing chapter” that we should be laid aside and “buried as deeply as possible.” This baby-with-the-bathwater prohibition would include abandoning the Coelacanth and other living fossils as corroborating evidence, if that is what they mean to say. This would mean laying aside the entire Cryptozoological Implication of Creationism, even though it is implicit in the Genesis narrative.

I’m pretty sure they’re simply guilty of overstatement here, unless the authors are just talking out of both sides of their collective mouths, because later in the post they recommend a creationist cryptozoology book about relict dinosaurs.

“None of the crypto material can be scientifically documented since it is made up of personal testimonies. Eyewitness testimony is notoriously unreliable for a number of reasons, including those related to our fallen, human condition, and usually involves individual sightings (not sightings by groups of people). Even honest people can be prone to confirmation bias, so they ‘see’ what they are expecting to see. For instance, millions of people claim to have encounters with extraterrestrials, but we can say for certain that they did not have an encounter with a being from some distant planet.”

I’m just gonna lay out Creation Ministries International’s hypocrisy here. And to be fair, THEY brought up extraterrestrials, so…

It is an undeniable fact that their “smoking gun” for the idea that fallen angels are masquerading as demons is based on eyewitness testimony that cannot be corroborated.

Aside from the fact that neither the book nor documentary version of Alien Intrusion ever bothers to mention the fact that resistance and willpower are just as effective as invoking the name of Jesus in ending so-called alien abduction experiences, the fact that CMI decries eyewitness testimony in cryptozoology but embraces it in ufology is nothing less than an inconvenient hypocrisy.

Again, if they were at all consistent, they’d take Gary Bates’ bestseller off their shelf as well.

“Our rule of thumb should be to not accept any testimony unless backed up by solid evidence (i.e. catch one!). As stated above, we are already held to a double standard. Let us, therefore, hold high standards ourselves and not fall prey to wishful thinking.”

I’m sorry. I’m still thinking about their claims about aliens and demons and I’m thinking… They’re gonna have to call Ghostbusters to get the kind of evidence they need for their ufological theory. I’m pretty sure I have a better chance of catching a living dinosaur than they do of catching a demon!

Their next section goes over the population requirements of large animals. Again, who says that these animals are necessarily large at this point? A Monsterquest study of the Mothman of Point Pleasant, WV, has shown that eyewitnesses as to the size of a reported cryptid can be incorrect. In the case of the Mothman, the Monsterquest team created wooden Mothman cutouts, with its trademark reflective red eyes, at varying heights.

Drivers along the test route were to estimate the height of the cutouts as they passed them to recreate the conditions of the original encounter. The heights of the cutouts were overestimated by as much as two feet. The data showed that the accuracy of the drivers decreased as light decreased and speeds increased. Certainly, poor lighting in a swamp or jungle could play a part in overestimating the size of a reported living dinosaur, since a person’s inherent biases would suggest that dinosaurs ought to be big, even if most of them were the size of sheep!

CMI’s objection isn’t new. Baron Georges Cuvier had this peculiar presuppositional bias. Though cryptozoology was yet emerging as a science, Cuvier’s attitude towards the field is a good example of the bias cryptozoologists face. In 1812, he uttered his “Rash Dictum” in which he declared: “There is little hope of discovering new species of large quadrupeds.”

The irony is that several large quadrupeds have been discovered since he uttered that statement. Just four years after Cuvier uttered his rash dictum, Governor Farquar of the Asiatic Society discovered the white-backed tapir of Malaysia. Nor was it the last large quadruped to be discovered since. A short list would include: Przewalski’s Horse, the Mountain Gorilla, the Kouprey, Bonobo, Saola, Okapi, White Rhinoceros and the Pygmy Hippopotamus, the Giant Mutjac… and the list goes on and on!

“Dinosaurs cannot live in a sparse desert environment like the Australian outback because they need a lot of food. Giant marine reptiles cannot be out in the open oceans for the same reason. The open oceans are extreme deserts. Large animals need to live near a food source, and all such oceanic areas are currently being exploited by human fishing activities.

Regarding fabled creatures such as Dragons and Sea Serpents, Cuvier opined: “I hope nobody will ever seriously look for them in nature; one could as well search for the animals of Daniel or for the beast of the Apocalypse.”

Yet he appears to be comparing apples to oranges, much as when the authors of this post compared the possibility of living dinosaurs to the idea of fairies. As far as dragons go, we’ve confirmed the existence of the once-legendary Komodo dragon since then. We also feel compelled to point out that Megamouth Sharks and Giant Squid [Architeuthys], also known as from legends as the Kracken, would both certainly qualify as Sea Monsters. Speaking of which…

“…we knew the giant squid existed because of the evidence of huge sucker-disk scars on sperm whales, who hunt them for food.

Actually, before we had such circumstantial evidence, we simply had sightings and stories.

“They evaded detection for many years because they can live in very deep water and don’t need to breathe air, but we knew they were there.”

We had naysayers well into the 20th century.

“We have fishing boats anywhere in the oceans where there are fish, and human eyeballs and video cameras cover most coastlands.”

We didn’t manage to catch film of a giant squid until 2001, which kind of underscores the point that an absence of evidence is not the same thing as an evidence of absence.

“Similarly, Loch Ness in Scotland has lots of tour boats and many hotels on its shores. The famous Nessie photos that spawned the legend have now been revealed as a hoax. But think of the industry that grew around it!2 Plus, sensors and automatic cameras have been installed all around the area, by people hoping to ‘catch’ Nessie, but without result. If Nessie was a plesiosaur, and if the story was inspired by historical sightings from centuries ago, she is certainly not alive today. It is time to move on.

Note the sweeping generalizations. Modern Nessie hunters acknowledge that the Surgeon’s Photo was faked, but the Loch Ness Monster wasn’t “spawned” by the photo. It is derived from Scottish legend. Skeptics have brought up the points CMI is adopting here. Cryptozoologists who still believe that a population of “Nessie” animals (be they plesiosaurs, zeuglodons or big seals) know the Surgeon’s photo was faked. Personally, Nessie is not my hill to die on and I happen to agree that the evidence for an extinct large-bodied marine organism (much less a population, even if they are utilizing as-yet-undiscovered subterranean passages between lochs) living in Loch Ness is unconvincing.

“Clear and unmistakable photographs, animals in a cage, DNA … these are the evidences required by modern science. Even then, photographic and video evidence has become too easy to fake nowadays, so we should be skeptical of any new ‘photograph’ of a living dinosaur. But millions of people in the world today have a high-quality camera on their smart phone, and yet we have essentially no unambiguous photographs anyway, so the point is moot. At least show us some photos, not grainy images or excuses for why we don’t have good ones.”

Are going to accept photo evidence or not? They seem to find it acceptable but caution that is probably photoshopped anyway. They claimed it anybody with a cell phone out of be able to snap off a picture but seem to ignore the fact that having the ability to snap off a high-quality picture on your cell phone does not mean that that happens every single time. Personally, I have snapped off more bad pictures from my high quality cell phone then I have good pictures, probably because I’m not a professional photographer. My point is that the quality of my equipment does not necessarily translate into a quality picture taken in an excitable moment or in a moment where the subject is not actually the focus of the picture and is found in the background, et cetera.

Cryptozoologist have long noted that photographic evidence alone is not enough to confirm the identity and existence of a cryptid, so I’m not actually sure wht they delve into this dissembling aside.

“Some evidences are better than others. We are not the ‘evidence police’, but we prefer Bishop Bell’s brass behemoths and the Angkor Wat stegosaur over most other examples. Similarly, the Behemoth in Job 40, with its tail compared to the Middle-Eastern cedars, seems to be a huge, herbivorous sauropod. (We recommend Vance Nelson’s book Dire Dragons for more good examples of these).”

I do not recommend Dire Dragons. I have long delayed a review of this book out of polite courtesy. Suffice it to say that it sees dinosaurs in places that are just a stretch. It’s a bit too credulous.

“The quality of any piece of evidence is important. If we cannot use something in a courtroom or in a scientific debate, why would we even bring it up?”

Well, that would invalidate most apologetic arguments, because the type of evidence that is allowable for courtroom or a scientific debate is very specific. For example, the sort of evidence that we have for the existence of God would not be allowable in a courtroom or scientific debate. Do they really want to go there? Or do you think that maybe they’re overstating their case?

“And how is this helpful to our supporters if they likewise can’t back up their claims? Why should we use doubtful arguments when there are stronger ones available? And if the arguments don’t even convince reputable creationists, why would they convince evolutionists? People are trusting us to give them good arguments, so it is critical for us be selective about the information we provide.”

Apologetics isn’t about convincing the other side so much as giving a reasoned defense. Truth does not necessarily compel acceptance. This is why Jesus gave us the parable of the sower as an illustration of how we spread the gospel.

Next their article considers dragon legends in relation to the fossil record and the Flood of Noah’s day.

“Dragon legends most likely derived from post-Flood interactions of humans and dinosaurs, and biblically we know that they must have been on the Ark. But one cannot discount the slight chance some of the stories may have come from pre-Flood legends, dreams, or just people’s imaginations. Coupled with the fact that no unequivocal dinosaur remains have been found in layers most biblical creationists would call ‘post Flood’, this is a real sticking point. The ‘latest’ dinosaur remains are from Mesozoic layers. While it is true that any layer with dinosaurs in it would automatically be labeled “Mesozoic”, this is not really a circular argument. An entire suite of plant and animal fossils are found together in the “dinosaur” layers, which most of us believe are Flood deposits.

Case in point, we do not find T. rex bones with mastodons, and most creationists place mastodons after the Flood. These later layers are simply absent of dinosaurs. One way around this is if we place the Flood/post-Flood boundary higher in the fossil record. This would mean that most all fossils are in Flood deposits, not from later times like the Ice Age. But we have unequivocal evidence of animal remains from more ‘recent’ times. This includes camels, horses, lions, bunnies, and bears, just not dinosaurs.”

It is wildly inconsistent to allow for the “slight chance” that some dragon legends were derived from pre-Flood legends, dreams or people’s imaginations while denying the “slight chance” that dinosaurs still exist in some remote corner of the globe.

Furthermore, if a lack of post-Flood dinosaur fossils are a “real sticking point,” creationist geology is in real trouble. The FACT is that we do believe dinosaurs were brought aboard the Ark and that they spread out over the globe after the Flood. There was rapid adaptation and speciation in the post-Flood world, so that [for example] giant ground-dwelling sloths became much smaller specialized tree-dwelling sloths, so it is possible and even probable that dinosaurs became smaller over time.

Creationists generally propose that we do not find Velociraptors and bunny rabbits together [and this would certainly apply to mastodons] because they did not live in the same habitats in order to be fossilized together.

Point in fact, creationists do not agree on the exact location of the Flood/post-Flood boundary, but (according to an article on itself!) it may be as recent as the late Cenozoic. If this were the case, most of the fossil record is basically the result of the Flood, making post-Flood fossils truly rare and the question of a lack of post-Flood dino fossils rather moot.

“Another technicality is the fact that we do not see fossils of large creatures forming today. When an animal dies, the flesh and bones almost always break down quickly. The Flood was a great fossil-generating engine, and those conditions do not exist anywhere on earth today, except on a very limited and small scale in a select few places. However, this does not mean we have no evidence of post-Flood animals. We see animal bones all the time in archaeological settings. Spines from fish and sea urchins are abundant in modern oceanic sediments. Etc.

Most of those fossils are marine fossils and most of the vertebrate fossils are fish. CMI knows this. They continue to cling to an argument from ignorance, citing an absence of evidence as the evidence of absence. Spines from fish and sea urchins are abundant in modern oceanic sediments because fish and sea urchins are themselves abundant. We are speaking of species which, if still extant, would be considerably more rare, and their traces rarer still.

While we do have historical evidence for them, dinosaurs/dragons must have been incredibly rare to leave no post-Flood fossils behind. This is not impossible, and evolutionary theory requires this to be true in many cases (e.g., why are no whale fossils found with coelacanth fossils?), but the evidence against recently-living, and especially currently-living, dinosaurs is strong.

The authors have not presented any evidence that rules out recently living or even currently living dinosaurs. They have simply demonstrated what cryptozoologists of all stripes already know: the evidence is elusive …until it isn’t. It may be that dinosaurs are truly extinct. Then again, the legend of mokele-mbembe may actually pan out to be a living dinosaur. There’s nothing wrong with being skeptically open to the possibility. Closing the lid on the matter makes us look like we have something to hide.

“Let’s be discerning. Let’s engage our minds with the best arguments. Let’s major on the best evidences—and we have some very good ones in this very area—and put the lesser ones on the back shelf. Let us especially reject the bad evidence when found. Why use the doubtful evidence before the clear? ‘Living dinosaurs’ was a good idea from the past and was associated with the birth of the modern creation movement. However, and despite a lot of effort on the part of some, it did not pan out.

Excuse me while I point out that even the ALMOST CERTAINLY of chosen title of CMI’s article, “Dinosaurs are almost certainly extinct,” is a tacit admission that they can’t explicitly rule out the possibility of dinosaurs living today.

No one’s saying to use doubtful evidence before the clear. That is a blatant straw man. We’re saying that if the Cryptozoological Implication inherent in the creationist worldview is true that there should be post-Flood evidence of dinosaurs and man co-existing and even the possibility that a few dinosaurs survived even today in some remote corner of the globe. Admitting that possibility as an undeniable implication of our worldview does not amount to abandoning better evidence. And they know it!

“This does not mean that dinosaurs are not a great entry point for the creation/evolution debate. Quite the opposite, because the evidence we have gives us some of the strongest refutations of the grand scheme of evolution. ‘Living dinosaurs’ is not nearly as good an argument as soft tissue preservation and carbon-14 in dinosaur bones. The former remains undocumented, the latter comes straight to us from the laboratory. Which do you think is a better argument?”

Regardless of whether I think one argument is better than the other, abandoning the possibility of living dinosaurs isn’t something we can do and still call ourselves creation “science.” Since the Cryptozoological Implication of Creationism is inherent in our model, we are going to get questions and criticisms regarding whether living dinosaurs exist today. If we continue to propose, as the Bible implies, that the Earth is young, that dinosaurs co-existed with man, and that dinosaurs were aboard the Ark and proliferated thereafter, the possibility that dinosaurs might still be alive today will remain open.  Unless we wish to parrot Cuvier’s Rash Dictum.

If we believe it to be true, we should not hesitate to search out potential positive evidence for the creation model. It suggests a weak position indeed to suggest we suspend the search for positive evidence for the creation model and instead “focus on the most powerful, up-to-date Achilles’ heels of evolutionary theory.” While the discovery of living dinosaurs would neither prove creation nor disprove evolution, it would be powerful corroborating evidence for the creation model. It is not enough to poke holes in your opponent’s theory. We must provide positive evidence for our own model. The search for such should never be discouraged …especially if it’s only because you wish to make room for being ridiculed over the unprovable idea that demons are posing as aliens instead.

We may never find living dinosaurs. It may be that they went extinct shortly after the Flood or survived only until recently. We certainly know that extinction is the rule of the day! I’m certainly not rash enough to be dogmatic about it either way.


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